Happy Happy Joy Joy….A NEW LENS!!

I could not be happier!  That’s a fact.

You see, while I do practice an impractical, truthfully unreasonable, degree of minimalism in my photographic efforts and all in the spirit of keeping it as simple as possible I have super secret hidden desires.  Yes, I’m a staunch advocate for working with what you have and avoiding at all costs gear headed-technobation, however I do maintain a really short list of things I just keep my eye out for.

The list is a list of large format lenses.

Here’s the problem.  You see, I’m mighty thrifty and like a mountain lion, I’ll stalk and stalk and stalk and stalk and stalk my prey with superhuman patience into eternity. That said I’ll pounce ferociously when the time is right.

Well, on my short list and at the TOP of my short list has been one specific lens which I’ve just been obsessed with getting hold of for more than three years.  It’s a Goerz Celor f5.5 12in #6 lens.  I’ve seen some incredible photographs made with this lens, all quite unique.  These lenses have come and gone on eBay over the years, mostly the wrong size for my 8×10, and when a #6 or larger has shown up (there’ve only been 2 in 3 years) the price is in my opinion stupid.

FINALLY, that all changed and I managed to get one in exceptional condition for what I feel was a very reasonable price.  Remember all of my admonitions about buying ONLY lenses and equipment that’s in exceptional condition?


The Goerz Celor f5.5 12in #6 is actually quite large.  The solid brass construction makes it quite stout and heavy.  The glass is PERFECT!


I mounted it to my test board.  It’s double strength.  It’s also quite ugly.  Function over form for now.

I’ve yet to take it out.  I plan to next weekend.  I ran out of glass.  Purchased more from Lowes yesterday and have cut it and am cleaning it.  I’ve been dragging the camera all around the house and outside just to frame some shots and play around with it.  From the ground glass, the images look as amazing as I’d hoped.  I’ll certainly share some images following next weekends work and offer my initial impressions.

So, there you have it.  I now own two lenses with which to work in wet plate collodion.  I think that the wider field of view of the Celor and closer focal range makes it a very nice compliment to the Dallmeyer 4D I’ve been using for everything.




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